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Old 01-29-2008, 05:32 PM   #1
Laros OP
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Canucks Exploring Nicaragua - lots of pics added

I noticed a post on my riding club's website, odsc.on.ca that caught my interest last November. JDInfinity said he would be riding around Nicaragua on a dualsport in January and asked if anyone wanted to join him. This really caught my interest because: A) I LOVE dualsport riding and you can't ride in Ontario in January, and B) I'd been to Nicaragua before and I knew the riding and the weather there would be awesome. However, I could not really see myself going due to work and family obligations, etc. But my wife encouraged me to go (it did not require too much encouragement!:)


Emailed JDInfinity, whom I'd never met, and told him “I'm in!”. He was renting the bikes through Salcar, an other ADVrider, based in Managua. Salcar had recently completed a trip to the bottom of Brazil. Salcar is setting up this business, and has a nice house that we could use as a base and was also available to us as a guide around Nicaragua.






Arrived at Salcar's house on January 16 when he picked me up from the airport on his motorbike. We were quite a site riding two up with me and my large hockey bag strapped on my back driving through traffic in Managua. The Managua traffic is very busy and the drivers are very aggressive.


Met JD and Barbara at Sal's house and then went for a very nice dinner at a restaurant on top of a hill overlooking Managua. Fabulous 5 star meal for 3 with wine for $100. JD and Barbara had been there riding around for the past two weeks, and told me what to expect in terms of traffic rules (there are few, other than basically to stay on the throttle). The excitement of getting on the bike and starting to explore this beautiful country was mounting!

I will post a short report on each day, with as many pictures as possible. We are setting off to explore mountains, villages the coast and some major towns.

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Old 01-29-2008, 05:38 PM   #2
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Sounds like a great trip... Thanks for the intro..

It would be a lot easier on the eyes if your font wasn't black on black.. I'll fix it on your first post
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Old 01-29-2008, 05:51 PM   #3
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Hey larose
Salcar said you saw cavegirl and I riding between Managua and Masaya a few days ago and that you waved at us. I am sooo bummed I didn't see you. I look forward to your pics and Nicaragua stories.
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Old 01-29-2008, 05:59 PM   #4
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riding to Nicaragua

Hey
Headed down to Nicaragua, currently half way down mexico. Any tips on what to see where to ride.
cheers!
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Old 01-29-2008, 06:13 PM   #5
Laros OP
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Hey Gadjetboy:
I am new to posting here, so I appreciate your editing! Not sure what I am doing wrong with the pictures - I'd like them to show rather than just a link . Any tips? K, GOT IT FIGURED OUT


Hey Cavebikers:
I had been reading your reports before I left, so that was how I recognized you and your bike, and it was great to see you two. Unfortunately, I was sitting on the side of the road because I was waiting for Salcar to come back - he had a flat and went into town to get it fixed while I sat with his disabled bike. I was hoping we might meet for a cervasa, but I was there for only 10 days and on the go for every one!

Hey Dirtgirl:
The two highlights for me in Nicaragua were the small dirt roads in the mountains in the north, and the city of Granada. I would say they are the two "don't miss" places. I'll post some pics when I learn how.

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Old 01-29-2008, 07:33 PM   #6
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Day 2
Left with Sal and two guys who have just started a new magazine about motorbikes and they are doing an article on Salcar and his new Motorcycle renting and guiding business.









Rode up trails on a mountain. This was a road on the map, but no car or truck could have driven this.














At one point I was climbing a very steep portion and saw a cart in front of me that I had to pass. A horse was pulling the empty cart, there was nobody with it. Then I recalled seeing a man with 2 boys walking - they must have sent the horse ahead because the path was too step for the horse to pull the cart with them on it.









Got on a trail which was just a dotted line on Sal's map. Yikes! This was less than a cart path. Very bumpy from the cows and horses.





The road crossed many streams and was just a blast to ride on. Sal and I often had to wait for the 2 local writers to catch up. I was leading for awhile, so just made sure Sal was behind me. At one point Sal passed me, so l had to now make sure one of the other guys was behind me at all times. I would stop occasionally to let them catch up. At one point I waited a long time. Eventually Sal came back to me, then went to look for the other two. We agreed i would stay put. So I waited and waited...Took some interesting pictures and video of the jungle. Lots of wildlife in the bush.

When Sal did not come back I thought I had better go and check. I came to a fork in the path and figured the 2 guys had gone the wrong way. I did not notice this fork in the path the first time through; I should have waited for the two other guys there to make sure they followed us. I wiated at the fork a long time; afraid that if I took one path I might never see the others again. Eventually the 2 writers came there, but had not seen Sal. So then I Knew Sal took the other fork. I told the 2 to wait there and I would look for Sal. I go bombing back along the trail to find Sal with his bike propped up and the back wheel off. He had a flat. At least we all knew that everyone was ok.

This would be the first of five flats for Sal over the next two days...


We stayed in a small hotel in Popoyo which is on the Pacific coast. They had hostel beds for $12 and private double rooms for $40.







It was great to ride to and on the beach.
I had been in Nicaragua a few years ago at a resort with my family - we jumped off that pier. It was really great to see it again.






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Canucks Exploring Nicaragua
James Bay 2009
The Heart of Algonquin Park 2010
Outerbanks and The Smokies
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Old 01-29-2008, 07:54 PM   #7
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Day 3
Had a nice breakfast in the hotel in Popoya, and I went to pay for the room and the breakfast. First time using my Visa card in Nicaragua. Denied. Shit, I should have told Visa I would be here. I usually do not carry lot of cash when traveling because I count on Visa and ATM's. I did have enough cash for now, but had to hit an ATM soon.


We were all low on gas, so inquired about the nearest gas station. Sal got directions from the locals and we followed him. Imagine our curiosity when he pulled into someone's front yard – I assumed he was asking for clarification about the location of the gas station. No, we were at the gas station. A girl came out and filled our tanks from an old juice container, through a cut off pop bottle she was using for a funnel.





We had a great day riding along the coast, but Sal's bike kept getting flats. After the 5th one, we learned that his tire had a pinch in it we could not see, it only opened and pinched the tube when a rock or bump hit it just the right way.

I spent a lot of time that day on the side of the road with one of the magazine writers - trying to communicate. By the end of the day I was surprized how much his very limited English had improved. My Spanish still sucked.

Back to Sal's house that night, grab some clean clothes and JD, and head for the mountains in the morning.
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'06 BMW GS 1200 New to me - Might replace the other two
'99 BMW RT 1100 Cruise Missile
'03 Suzuki DRZ 400 Goes Everywhere

Canucks Exploring Nicaragua
James Bay 2009
The Heart of Algonquin Park 2010
Outerbanks and The Smokies
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Old 01-29-2008, 08:05 PM   #8
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Old 01-29-2008, 08:11 PM   #9
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a few more shots from the first two days

Sal crossing one of many streams across the "road"
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'06 BMW GS 1200 New to me - Might replace the other two
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Canucks Exploring Nicaragua
James Bay 2009
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Outerbanks and The Smokies
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Old 01-29-2008, 08:12 PM   #10
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Canucks Exploring Nicaragua
James Bay 2009
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Outerbanks and The Smokies
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Old 01-29-2008, 08:38 PM   #11
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More!!!!!!!!!!

Looking forward to the rest of the story!


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Old 01-31-2008, 02:32 PM   #12
Laros OP
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Day 4

JD, Sal and I left Sal's house early to head for the mountains. The night before we had a route all planned out and I went to bed atmidnight, before the other two guys. When we got up in the morning, I was informed that the route had been scrapped and totally revised. I was okay with that – hey we were riding dualsports in a beautiful country with 3 like minded guys. What could be better?

First we had to stop for breakfast:



The traffic through some of the larger towns was brutal. We got pulled over in Tipatap (sp?). My first time dealing with the police, so was little nervous. But he was only interested in Sal. We thought the cop was looking for a “tip”, but gave Sal a ticket for changing lanes in a round-about. We thought Sal made the lane change before entering the roundabout, whatever. Sal preferred to take the ticket over offering a "tip".

Coffee beans drying on the side of the road:





Beautiful Mountain Scenery and RIDING!

















We went through the most amazing mountain pass. The road was under construction and the construction crews made us take crazy detours. We certainly knew we were not in Canada anymore!! There were no safety barriers, just a few rocks sometimes (if you were liucky) to mark the edge of the road versus a hundred metre drop








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'06 BMW GS 1200 New to me - Might replace the other two
'99 BMW RT 1100 Cruise Missile
'03 Suzuki DRZ 400 Goes Everywhere

Canucks Exploring Nicaragua
James Bay 2009
The Heart of Algonquin Park 2010
Outerbanks and The Smokies
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Old 01-31-2008, 02:43 PM   #13
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Amazing pics!! Thanks for sharing
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Old 01-31-2008, 02:47 PM   #14
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Went to Jinotega for lunch and found a Scandanavian hotel. Jinotega is a beautiful little town nestled between mountains on all side. The weather was very cool and the Vegetation Very lush.












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'99 BMW RT 1100 Cruise Missile
'03 Suzuki DRZ 400 Goes Everywhere

Canucks Exploring Nicaragua
James Bay 2009
The Heart of Algonquin Park 2010
Outerbanks and The Smokies
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Old 01-31-2008, 02:54 PM   #15
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After getting settled in the hotel we went for a nice ride around Lake Apanas. This area is gorgeous. It reminded me of northern Ontario- hilly, nice lakes, cool temperatures.








We found a great bar for beers and appetizers



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'06 BMW GS 1200 New to me - Might replace the other two
'99 BMW RT 1100 Cruise Missile
'03 Suzuki DRZ 400 Goes Everywhere

Canucks Exploring Nicaragua
James Bay 2009
The Heart of Algonquin Park 2010
Outerbanks and The Smokies
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